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India: Websites radicalising youth about ISIS blocked in Maharashtra

Wednesday 27 January 2016, by siawi3


Big News
Monday 25th January, 2016

PUNE, India - Maharashtra police in India have come down hard on websites seen to be spreading ISIS propaganda online, with 94 websites being blocked in the state.

Investigation agencies had recently implemented a major nation-wide anti-terror swoop ahead of India’s Republic Day, with critical inputs from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The NIA had taken custody of 14 people suspected to be ISIS sympathisers for plotting attacks in different parts of the country.

Top police officials have revealed that the move to scan the world wide web comes after the increased online influence of terror outfit ISIS was recorded in nearly a dozen states, including Maharashtra.

The Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) said that websites that were used to radicalise youth about ISIS were banned as part of the national crackdown on terrorists and terror suspects.

Maharashtra ATS Chief Vivek Phansalkar said that the squad was ready to combat terrorism. “94 websites used to radicalise people online have been blocked. We are monitoring websites and social media sites, so that these are not mishandled. Any website used to propagate ISIS agenda is being blocked. We are trying to create an ATS website to connect with the people,” he said in a statement.

He added that their emphasis would be on counter radicalization as they do not want the youth to get involved in this. “Wherever needed, we take the help of the state police and ATS and this coordination will continue. We would appeal to people, if they notice elements which are suspect of doing something wrong, please report to the control rooms of the police station, we will definitely respond,” he urged.

Explained about the online tactics that the Maharashtra ATS was using to counter the “menace of ISIS”, the ATS chief said, “We are preparing to launch a dedicated website of ATS, which will be used as a measure and tool to create awareness among the society and to de-radicalise the people who are falling prey to their tactics. We have to do a lot of confidence building and identify, monitor and counter the menace of ISIS in the society.”

He added that the modus operandi of ISIS is to use a lot of visuals. “These people use a lot of visuals which are inflammatory in nature and show dreams that there will be ’caliphate’.”

Further, about 150 social media sites too are said to be under the radar of Indian security agencies, who have been witnessed ISIS propaganda promotion on Facebook and Twitter.